Sunday was election day in Bulgaria. The results are now in, and the result is . . . gridlock.
There were four winners in the election. The GERB party took the most votes at just over 31%. GERB is a moderate-conservative group. Their name "GERB" is both an acronym and a word play. "Gerb" is the Bulgarian word for "coat of arms." This was the party that stepped down earlier this year under the pressure of nation wide protests.
The socialist (also know as the communist) party also took some seats with just over 27% of the overall vote. The other two lesser parties were the "MRF" or "Movement for Rights and Freedom" party (sometimes referred to as the Turkish party because most of its members are from the ethnic Turkish minority of Bulgaria), and the nationalist "Ataka" party. Both of these groups won less than 10% of the vote, but enough to win seats in parliament.
So what does all this mean? As you probably notice, none of the groups scored a majority victory. As such, no party can form a government unilaterally. There are talks of a coalition between two parties to achieve a majority and get things done. Right now it seems that a coalition between GERB and Ataka is the most likely. For now the election has left a feeling of uncertainty. There was no decisive victory, so there is no certainty as to the the direction of the country.
We shall see what happens.